Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout: Greatest Non-MVP Ever?
We’ll see it again: the MVP voters will inevitably side for the dominant hitting and monster production of Miguel Cabrera, who now stands poised to win his second straight AL MVP. With a slash line of .350/.446/.646, it’s pretty much impossible to deny that Cabrera’s play has been MVP-worthy.
His MVP was locked up last year the second he became the first hitter in 45 years to win a highly-coveted Triple Crown, and since his numbers are even better this year, it follows that he’s likely to defend his award.
Cabrera’s MVP will not take anything away from the absurdly transcendent play of Los Angeles Angels‘ Mike Trout in his rookie and sophomore seasons. In 2012 and 2013, Trout is hitting .325 and has posted 56 home runs, 175 RBIs, 237 runs, 66 doubles, 17 triples and 82 stolen bases. No one in the MLB can even come close to competing with those all-around numbers.
Oh, and that’s not mentioning his home-run saving antics in center field, either.
Cabrera has easily been the most dominant hitter in baseball for at least the past three years. He’s producing at a monster clip that will deservedly earn him a second MVP, but can we really say his pace as a pure hitter is that far off from the pace set by Barry Bonds, Albert Pujols, and Alex Rodriguez in just the last decade (I know, I know, PEDs. But not in Pujols’ case, at least)?
Meanwhile, to try to find a Trout-esque complete player, you’d have to go back several generations to someone like Willie Mays. Trout has the complete package, and the fact that all of his skills are contained in only one player is nothing short of astounding.
Which is precisely why he need not sweat Cabrera’s inevitable MVP. Team record plays some part in determining who will garner the sympathy of MVP voters, and the Angels aren’t exactly doing many favors for Trout in that area (76-80).
But as with the stock market, a diversified portfolio of skills is a profoundly valuable asset for any baseball player: if Trout’s speed declines over the years, he’ll still have his solid swing. If his power abandons him, he’ll still be able to make highlight plays in center field.
At this point, isn’t it more likely that he’ll simply continue to be the most transcendent player in baseball for at least several more years? Angel fans sure hope so, and I can’t wait to see if Trout will live up to his own lofty standard.
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